INDIANAPOLIS — The former Roncalli High School student involved in an incident which resulted in the arrest of an administrator is speaking out and says he hopes this never happens again to anyone else.
Robert Tully, 77, the Vice President of Mission and Ministry at the school, was charged with battery resulting in bodily injury after he allegedly assaulted a student in the cafeteria, according to a probable cause affidavit.
The student, Caleb Krauth, 14, says the incident started after a student accidentally spilled his lunch tray and Tully became upset over the mess.
"[I was] scared, you know, you wouldn’t expect a teacher or anyone working at a school to do something like that," Caleb said. "That definitely wasn’t expected."
Carla Krauth, Caleb's mother, says she was shocked when the school called her after the incident because she didn't think she would receive that type of phone call from someone at the south side Indianapolis Catholic high school.
"At parent orientation, the principal made a very good speech on how they don’t tolerate bullying," Carla said. "That pretty much sold us on the school. Like we were really happy to hear something like that because you hear about a lot of bullying everywhere and I didn’t think we would experience it personally ourselves."
Since Caleb decided to speak out about the incident, he has received harassing messages from other students and alumni, according to both mother and son. Carla says her son will start the new year off attending a new school because if she sent him back to Roncalli, she feels his safety could be at risk.
"I try my best to ignore it," Caleb said. "You’ve got to have a strong mindset you just you can’t let it get to you. But with those messages comes a lot of support."
Caleb, Carla, and their lawyer, Curt Johnson, hope by speaking up, something like this won't happen to anyone else.
"The reason I spoke up is because you can’t stay quiet," Caleb said. "My message to other people is speaking up is better than staying quiet because there is going to be another person in your situation and if you don’t speak up, it could happen to them."
Johnson says the family hasn't decided yet if a lawsuit will be filed against Roncalli.
On Friday, the Archidiocese of Indianapolis released the following statement:
Roncalli High School and the Archdiocese of Indianapolis were made aware today that Bob Tully, Roncalli’s vice president for mission and ministry, was charged with battery stemming from an incident involving a student in the school’s cafeteria on December 6.
Immediately following the incident, the school called the student’s parents and the police, and a report was made by the school to the Indiana Department of Child Services. The police met at the school on December 6 with the individuals involved. The student required no medical attention. Roncalli cooperated with the police and DCS throughout their investigation.
Roncalli notified all school parents of the incident on December 6.
Mr. Tully has been on administrative leave since December 6 and will remain on leave while the criminal proceedings continue. Following the conclusion of the case further action may be taken.
The safety and well-being of every student is of utmost importance to us, and we are committed to continuously seeking ways to improve practices and procedures related to student safety. We ask for prayers for all involved and assure you of Roncalli’s continued commitment to student safety.
"What Caleb has done and is doing is not the easy way to the contrary," Johnson said. "You know it takes a lot of courage, a lot of guts, to get up here to put yourself out there for the world."